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Government 'must tackle drug problem'

Ken Clarke has said the government has no intention of changing the law on drugs and that problem will not be solved by decriminalisation.

Ken Clarke has urged the government to tackle the drug problem in the UK Credit: PA Wire

He said: "The Government has no intention whatever of changing the criminal law on drugs.

"I have frankly conceded that policy has not been working. We are all disappointed by the fact that far from making progress it could be argued we are going backwards at times.

"But my own purely personal view is that I would be worried about losing the deterrent effect of criminalisation of youngsters who start experimenting.

"The really key thing is to try to work out how to get fewer young people to start experimenting with drugs.

"One thing that does put them off is that they would get into trouble with the police."


Ken Clarke condemns press lynch mob

The Justice Secretary Ken Clarke the told BBC Radio4's PM programme it was right that senior politicians were put under "veryclose scrutiny" but he also said:

"There is a bit of a fashion at the moment, the media do tend to act as a bit of a pack and they are steadily working through my colleagues trying to find things to complain about.

Sayeeda (Warsi), I am astonished by some of the complaints against her. It really is pedantic, some of it."

– The Justice Secretary Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke attacks media over Baroness Warsi

Ken Clarke Credit: PA

The Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has launched a stinging attack on the media for acting like a "lynch mob" against Jeremy Hunt and Baroness Warsi.

He dismissed some of the allegations against the Conservative Party chairman as "downrightsilly" and "pedantic".

The comments came as David Cameron delivered a strong signal that Lady Warsi's job is safe despite ordering an investigation into her failure to declare business links.

The Prime Minister said he was "very happy" with the Conservative Party chairman's explanation after it emerged she took relative and business partner Abid Hussain on an official trip to Pakistan.


Liberty: Public inquests a 'crumb of comfort'

The oldest parliamentary trick is to start with a policy so outrageous that any crumb of comfort looks half-reasonable.

The protection of inquests is that crumb, but what if grieving families and other victims want to sue the military, intelligence or political establishment for abuses of power?

We've all seen fig leaves like 'judicial triggers' and 'exceptional circumstances' before. They give little comfort to the claimant locked out of court while Government lawyers play to an open goal in private with the judge.

– Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty

Clarke: 'Protecting the public cannot come at expense of our historic freedoms'

We have consulted and listened to many critics of our original plans and have made substantial changes. Protecting the public cannot come at the expense of our historic freedoms. That principle is absolutely right and has guided the Government's response.

The Bill now ensures that no evidence given openly in court at the moment can be given in secret in future, and gives the judge the final decision about whether any evidence at all can be heard in closed session.

Only civil cases involving national security evidence will be affected. The proposals were never intended to apply to criminal cases.

– Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary

Inquests will remain public as civil courts set for secret evidence

Inquests will not be included in proposals to allow secret evidence to be heard in civil courts, the Justice Secretary said.

The Ministry of Justice is due to publish the Justice and Security Bill today, which includes rules on controversial proceedings to hear some evidence secretly.

The Bill will pave the way for sensitive intelligence to be heard in civil courts where national security is involved. It is understood that, in a climbdown from earlier proposals, the powers will not be extended to inquests.

Ken Clarke hopes for 'restraint' ahead of Bahrain GP

I hope both sides show restraint, I deeply regret that someone appears to have been killed, obviously everybody is imploring them to keep down the level of violence, but I don't think the cancellation of the Grand Prix actually would make a very great deal of difference.

I don't think it's a matter for politicians in Britain to decide whether to or not. Essentially in the end it's up to Formula One and the people who the run the sport and the teams.

– Ken Clarke speaking on Sky News' Murnaghan programme
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